Law courts around the world are closing. Most countries are rapidly setting up facilities for remote hearings (by audio and video). To help accelerate this global transformation in court service, Remote Courts Worldwide is launched today. This service has been designed to help the global community of justice workers (judges, lawyers, court officials, litigants, court technologists) to share their experiences of developing remote alternatives to traditional court hearings in physical buildings.().
To ensure ongoing access to justice, governments and judiciaries are rapidly introducing various forms of remote court – audio hearings (largely by telephone), video hearings (for example, by Skype and Zoom), and paper hearings (decisions delivered on the basis of paper submissions). At remarkable speed, new methods and techniques are being developed. However, there is a danger that the wheel is being reinvented and there is unnecessary duplication of effort across the world. In response, Remote Courts Worldwide offers a systematic way of remote-court innovators and people who work in the justice system to exchange news about working systems, plans, ideas, policies, protocols, techniques, and safeguards.
Remote Courts Worldwide is a collaborative project, involving the Society for Computers and Law, the UK LawTech Delivery Panel, and Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service. It is being led by Professor Richard Susskind, President of the Society for Computers and Law, and an expert in online courts.
“It’s time to come together, globally, to accelerate the introduction of remote hearings by judges. We have no choice. Physical courts are closing. There’s little point in lamenting any lack of past investment nor in predicting that the technology will fail. Let’s make it happen. We must seize the moment and come together to accelerate the development of new ways of delivering just outcomes for court users.”
Photo: A remote house on the shore of Loch Ailort cc by-sa Tony Kinghorn.